TR Series - TriumphSite

Go to content


The TS20  or  TR1 was built 1952 and presented at the Earls Court Motor Show but never went into serial production, because it was told being undriveable and therefore named "The deathtrap", it just went 130 Kmh which was definately too slow for Sportscar - even those days. The rounded rear end rememberd somehow at the Roadster 1800-2000.


The TR2 was the first serial production TR and compared with its predecessor TR1 miles ahead. Accelleration was quite good for that time, under 12 seconds from 0-100 Kmh. Sir Walter Belgrove,  was responible for it, the tail was reworked and lifted. Soonly Triumph began to race the TR2 at Le Mans, with some success, which pushed the economical situation forward.
It became a teen dream of a whole generation, especially in the USA, this fine little roaster became very popular, as Chief Engineer  Ken Richardson took hold of him he tuned the engine a bit more, and as was ready one year later  there was a 160 Kmh fast 75 hp roadster!


The 3 appeared 1955, after the TR2  being reworked, but was very similar to the TR2; there were 2 versions - the early Long Door and the Short Door version, latter becaus the long doors always clashed with the burdstone when getting off the car, it appeared the same year and was inofficially called the 3A (for America), but was never badged as one.
1957 the TR3 was overworked once more and had now a power output of 100 hp. It was the first mass produced car which had serial disc brakes at the front. Now the TR3 became more popular in the USA, 1962 the new TR4 was presented but for many  US TR enthusiasts the newone was too comfortable, too soft - they asked for the more rigid TR3 and so a few 100 pieces were produced for this special purpose, this was then named  the TRB. 300 TR3 chassis, engines and drivetrains were shipped to Italy where the Triumph Italia was built.


        The American Dreamcar was Michelottis first attempt to redesign the successful TR3, it was the beginning of Michelottis cooperation with the Standard Triumph Comp.. As visible, the Dream Car had some great influence from the US market, where the sportscar was targeted, where the tough, little British Sportscars were very popular, like the MG for instance.
A close view to the front grille shows some similarity to the TR3A front grille or the hooded headlamps like later on the Herald



As Michelotti started to look after the TR series, he tied on traditions and continued the construction of a separated chassis despite of the trend constructing self supporting body shells, according to its image as a tough, rigid roadster.
The first TR4s kept the live axle of the TR3, but as the rear independant suspension was introduced at the Big Six Saloons, it was time to provide the TR with the slightly altered independant rear axle, because of the frame chassis a different damper system was designed and launched 1965 as the TR4A IRS where he was highly welcomed by the public. Together with the brawny 2,2 litre engine, an all round successful, beefy British Sportscar was succeeded.


Michelotti was just buzy with the Stag and had finished his Ginevra Project, and he thought already about displacing the TR4, but meanwhile uprating him by exchanging the engine against the straight six from the 2,5  Pi limousine not last cause of a financial bottleneck.  But this TR had 150 hp now, just right for the TR4, badged now as a TR5 Pi (Petrol Injection)  which turned out to be an enormous push forward in the image of the TRs. At this time no other sportscar in this price range had an Injection system for standard and independant rear suspension. In the USA the had to be sold with carburettors and was therefore quite weaker (about 106 hp), that's why it wasn't such a good seller as in Europe.
Built only a few months (1968) 2900 times, this TR is one of the most expensive and  saught after Triumph classics today


                   Straight Six with Pi Injection                             beautiful burr Sdashboard                                         TR5 Pi in all its beauty

TR6 Pi

The new TR6 was already launched one year after the facelifted TR4 - the TR5 Pi and as exception this time by the German Karman Comp. which had already successfully built whole bodies for VW or overworked German Fords.
Tne interior wasonly altered a little,  and also the same engine was dropped in and the entire passengers cell remained as well as the typical Michelotti sideline. Only the front and rear was changed completely -out came the TR6 as we love until today, the aggressive front look and the impressive rear end made the TR6 become a great success from the beginning. On the home market as well as in foreign markets the TR6 succeeded imediatly and other rivals tried to outdo thr Triumph. The latest Californian environmental rules forced Triumph once more to reduce power in favor of reduced emmission. The performance dropped first down to 128 hp and after swapping the Pi against carbs, which left the PS fastidous  US customers with only 100 hp. Facing the US muscle cars like Corvette or Mustang which could fulfil the environmental rules (did they really?) the TR6 sales figures dropped rapidly, but sold much better in Europe.

The US market in focus the Triumph engineers planned a new generation of Triumphs and naturally TR, this time finished by Harris Mann, because Michelotti was too busy with his own company Vignale in Turin. 1977 the last, meanwhile outdated TR6, left  the assembly lines together with all the other Michelotti Triumphs, in favor of the new style, regretted by the TR fan community. The tough and rigid TR became finally a legend.
For many TR friends all over the world, the "6"  was the epitome of a Classic British Roadster, whose rough, grumbling Sixcylindersound became a synfonic music in their ears.


                          Here an impressive battery of Weber carbs                                                The TR how we love him


Back to content